You can now ship almost anything which is great since more people than ever before are living away from their loved ones and friends. When I lived 7,000 miles away from my boyfriend, I shipped him homemade cookies, chocolates, numerous letters, and small gifts. Not only can you ship nearly everything, there are more options for speed, delivery, convenience, and cost-saving measures.
Convenience: Whether you are shipping through the United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx, UPS, etc., you can have your packages picked up from your office or your home. Stamps can also be purchased from most grocery stores, convenience stores, and in machines in USPS lobbies so that you no longer need to wait in line to send letters. You can also purchase a scale to use at home or work and print out your own shipping postage and labels from your own printer! Try stamps.com, or log onto the USPS to find more information about these options.
Cheap shipping options: There are many ways to save money on your shipping. The USPS offers flat rate shipping boxes, which means that you can stuff up to 70 lbs. worth of goods into these various sized boxes and it still ships for the same, low rate. Also, if you are shipping books and/or DVDs, CDs, and other media make sure your agent knows this as there is a special "Media" rate that is cheaper than regular rates. Also, send your packages parcel post, or ground delivered to save on money. If you have large quantities of items to ship, ship them parcel select to save money.
If you are ordering items online, google "free shipping code" for the store you are purchasing from and see what you find. Many sites now offer free shipping, sometimes with a minimum purchase threshold you must meet (Amazon is typically $25, for example). Also, some stores charge one flat shipping rate, which means that you may want to bundle together purchases and make one purchase every few months rather than many small-item purchases.
Delivery Options: Do you need a confirmation on your shipment, either by signature or by the delivery person? This option is available to you. You can also track your shipment by sending it certified. You will receive a certification number and can check periodically online to see the exact date and time it was delivered to the recipient. Perhaps you are shipping something that is high in value; you can insure it. You can also get guaranteed overnight delivery.
No matter what you need to ship, you are likely to find a way to do so. Get creative and keep your business and personal relationships flourishing even though you may be far away.